The more popular trail for Bukit Tabur would be Tabur West. This is the trail which had been where accidents and fatalities had been dominating the news and is every parent’s nightmare when their children chose to do some hiking. Religiously, every Sunday, hundreds of hikers would be jamming up the narrow paths of Tabur West. It is just pure statistics of the sheer amount of numbers especially of many first timers, that an accident will happen.
Lesser known on the Eastern side away from the crowd is the Bukit Tabur East trail.
To access Tabur East, you will have to look for the giant pipes that lead to Klang Gates.
The giant pipes will lead you to an obscure jungle trail on the right side which is a straight climb uphill.
After 15 minutes of climbing through the jungle trail, you get to see a break of skyline. This indicate the peak is near.
Soon you will emerge from the jungle.
Emerging from the jungle trail, you will catch the view of the dam.
Spectacular view of the dam.
Looking at the direction of Tabur West. Could only see the first peak. The other eight peaks lies beyond the first peak.
At the opposite direction, we could see Tabur East Peak, our destination.
The climb from the first ridge to the peak takes another 30 minutes which involved a climb on a virtually 90 degrees rock wall up about 50 feet. Lo0ks scary and definitely not for the faint hearted.
Conquering the wall, you will be rewarded with unobstructed view of the Klang Gates.
Finally reaching the peak of Tabur East.
Great view of KL from Tabur East.
Came across the most expensive hotel room beer in Maxims Hotel, Genting.
It was an unbelievable RM 46.50 for a can of Budweiser and RM 31.50 for a can of Carlsberg.
Are they trying to discourage their guest from drinking or what?
For a cheaper alternative, just take the elevators down, walk 50 meters towards the food court and there is a convenient store selling Carlsberg for RM 12.00 per can.
Jian Tian looked absolutely stunning when she appeared as a bad ass girl in Police Story 2013.
But alas, mid way through the show, she removed all the bad girl image to reveal her sweet self.
Her bad girl image was absolutely cool and made her stand out, definitely better than her normal self which is just a pretty face minus the character.
Somewhere north of Ipoh, in the outskirts of Chemor, in a new village called Tanah Hitam lies a quaint hill called Bukit Bangkong. Read about this place from some bloggers and it was described as a local secret for trekking. Decided to check it out and went looking for Tanah Hitam New Village. The new village was relatively easy to locate being off the main Chemor-Sg Siput trunk road.
There was a large car park at the entrance with a rest station.
From the entrance, the trek starts off on tarmac which deteriorated into a gravel track accompanied with concrete steps.
It was a straight climb upwards in the open without any trees for shade. We started at 10.30 pm and it was truly hot.
Was truly happy when we encountered a junction with a jungle trail on the right and an open trail on the left which was supposed to be the shorter route. We immediately chose the longer route, at least we get to trek in the shade.
Before long, we reached the peak.
In total, it was 3 kilometers from the car park on a very gradual and easy terrain. The elevation of Bukit Bangkong as only 311 meters, more of a knoll than a hill.
From the peak, we could see Chemor on the Western side. On the Eastern side, could see could peaks which were much higher. Checked my GPS and found that the peaks were Gunung Yong Yap and Gunung Korbu in the distance.
It was a leisurely walk down and we could see limestone hills standing tall over flat plains.
Overall, I would rate Bukit Bangkong as a good place for a workout but not really a place for trekkers.
When we reached our car, decided to check out food in Tanah Hitam new village. Quite a number of coffee shops were opened for business but we chose the most crowded. Ordered seafood noodles and iced coffee. Expectation was high since we are near Ipoh.
The verdict :- ice coffee was good and the seafood noodles was delicious. Such a fitting treat after a workout.
It is World Cup year and the tournament returns to the land of Samba but how is the world ranking as per 1st January 2014?
Spain sits at the pinnacle as the defending champion, the highest ranked and definitely the team to beat.
Germany, Argentina, Columbia and Portugal makes up the Top 5, while number one favourite team in the world, Brazil had dropped to 10th while no hopers but still the favourite of many due to the success of the EPL, England dropped to a deserving 13th place.
I did a similar ranking check back in 2010 after the previous world cup and the sad news is that Malaysia dropped further down the pecking order from 142nd placed down to 154th. What’s most embarrassing is that Malaysia has fallen behind Philippines. While we pat ourselves and gloat over our limited regional successes but on the global stage, the sad truth is that we are 154th out of 207 countries. With the current leadership and public attitude we have, it is no wonder we are where we are.
|19||57||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|39||108||Cape Verde Islands|
|67||36||Republic of Ireland|
|71||88||United Arab Emirates|
|78||76||Trinidad and Tobago|
|106||202||Central African Republic|
|145||129||Antigua and Barbuda|
|149||147||St. Kitts and Nevis|
|153||160||St. Vincent and the Grenadines|
|158||-||São Tomé e Príncipe|
|193||199||US Virgin Islands|
|194||202||Papua New Guinea|
|196||191||British Virgin Islands|
|207||182||Turks and Caicos Islands|
1 Jan 2014
It was the first day of a new year, what shall it be? Is it going to be the same of old stuff or a brand new start? Well, this year was a bit different. For starters, had a quiet New Year’s eve at home, alcohol free, or almost alcohol free. Opened a bottle of Red which was a gift from I am not sure who and found it to be oxidised and a bit sour. Normally, I would still downed the bottle or mixed in with some fruit juice into instant Sangria but this time, the entire contents ended up in the sink.
Decided to do something different for New Year Day and decided to check out Kota Damansara Forest Reserve. Heard about, seen some events about but had absolutely no idea where it is. After cruising for more than 30 minutes around Kota Damansara, we finally found some obscure brown signs which led us to it. The best advice I could give to anyone who wants to look for this place is that it is in Section 10 of Kota Damansara and it is right in front of the Kota Damansara Section 10 school.
It was 2 pm when we arrived and saw the field which appeared in some event pictures which we have seen. The trail starts beyond the edge of the field. Checked with a couple of guys who were waiting at the car park for their friends and was informed that there are a number of different trails but all colour coded with the longest about 4 km. Sounds fun and we immediately proceeded for our first trek of Kota Damansara Forest Reserve.
The first trail we encountered is the Scout trail. Four hundred meters into the trail, it meets up with the Temuan trail. The Temuan trails moves further away from the entrance and we decided to take it. The terrain is flat with some mild inclines. Ground solid and foliage thick giving the trail a very cool jungle feel. After another kilometre, we come across another intersection leading to the Sahabat trail. This trail heads North towards Sg Buluh, we decided to stick to the Temuan trail which veered East.
As we move along, we heard some fast movement from our rear. Realised that it came from trail bikers and we immediately moved to the side to allow them to pass. That was a close call. (For families walking on this trail, do not let your children wonder on their own as the bikers are a real danger.)
One more kilometre down the trail, we re-joined the scout trail. Soon we reached the back fences of some bungalows and before we knew it, we were near the exit. Came across another intersection for Petaling trail and the sign says that it is about one kilometre. Gave it a miss and we were out of the forest reserve.
The exit was at the side a pond filled with many weekend anglers hoping to get some catch and some 200 meters from the entrance where we parked our car.
Overall, I would rate Kota Damansara Forest Reserve to be the best place to orientate beginners to jungle trails as the trail is very easy and relaxing. Basically elementary trekking and enjoyable but with one negative factor. One has to be watch out for the trail bikers.
The trails are easy and varies in distance:-
- Petaling Trail - 1 km
- Scout Trail - 2 km
- Temuan Trail - 4 km
Will try the Sahabat Trail, the next time I visit KDFR. Believe that Sahabat would be a much longer than 4 km.
Gunung Brinchang is the highest peak in Malaysia which is connected by a paved road. At 2,031 meters, it is significantly higher than the second highest paved road connected peak, Genting Highlands at 1,860 meters. What’s remarkable is that Gunung Brinchang is one of 20 odd mountains which is more than 2,000 meters in Peninsular Malaysia and it is only 159 meters lower than the highest, Gunung Tahan. We have driven up Gunung Brinchang about half a dozen times, enjoying the journey every single time.
We have contemplated hiking up Gunung Brinchang in the past but we failed to get clear directions from the locals each time we asked about Gunung Brinchang. The most common response was that it would better for us to get a guide. It appears to be a local conspiracy to promote the local tourism. We couldn’t get any help from the blogs either as most concentrate on Gunung Irau, the most popular trekking destination at Cameron Highlands. Having done Irau, Perdah, Jassar and Berembun, we just had to complete Brinchang. So after lunch and checking in at our hotel, May and I set out on a recce at 3.00 pm to seek out the Brinchang trek.
The only clue we had gathered was that the trail starts at the water catchment area. We headed towards the area and came across a big “No Entry” sign. But there was a wide dirt road and there were no gates or fences. We decided to proceed and ask for directions if we get stopped. We reached a fenced up area which is the water catchment centre and luckily for us, we managed to find a sign board for the Gunung Brinchang at side of the fence. The starting point was only about 1 km from the main road and was relatively easy to find. Wonder why we have been given the runaround all this while.
As we entered the trail, we were immediately rewarded with beautiful mossy forests. We came across a sign which says that it was only 2.99 km to the Brinchang peak. We were at a dilemma as we had planned only for a recce trek so we wore only our casual shoes and had some mineral water. We left behind our packs, lights and GPS. It was 3.30 pm. We decided to proceed and targetted to reach the peak by 5.00 pm. That should give us the same amount of time for the return trek.
The trek was relatively easy and we managed to move with ease. The daylight was failing faster than we anticipated. Even at 4.30 pm, it looked like 6pm in the thick jungle foliage. We hurried and managed to reach the peak at 5 pm. The first thing we encountered at the peak was a fence spreading right across the trail.
We walked around the fence and came to the road leading to the peak. From here, it was a short walk to the peak. There used to be a look out tower at the peak but this is now in disrepair while the foliage has outgrown and covered any possible view. We are now stuck with a choice. Do we go back through the jungle which is 2.97 km or do we take the road which is a 11 km walk. We decided to be safe as we did not have any head lamps with us. With the dimishing light, any wrong turn would land us in the jungle in the dark.
It was then a long walk down Gunung Brinchang following the paved road.
We were lucky to reach the tea plantation while there is still light and had a good view of one of our favourite sights of Cameron Highlands.
When we reached the main trunk road, it was already dark and we had to walk with a heavy traffic of holiday vehicles passing us.
We finally reached Brinchang town where we parked our car at 8.15 pm, satisfied that we have finally managed our Gunung Brinchang hike.